Knicks have significant interest in re-signing free agent Reggie Bullock, with Suns also interested

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Reggie Bullock treated image, black jersey with faded grey MSG background
Reggie Bullock treated image, black jersey with faded grey MSG background

A few notes on Reggie Bullock’s free agency:

WHAT CAN KNICKS OFFER?

The Knicks have Reggie Bullock’s Early Bird rights. So they can offer Bullock a contract as long as four years and worth as much as $47 million dollars in free agency. They can exceed the cap to pay Bullock, thanks to the Early Bird rights.

The four-year, $47 million contract is more than most Bullock suitors can offer. Teams over the cap can offer Bullock the midlevel exception, projected to start at $9.5 million in the first season.

Teams with cap space can offer Bullock more money than the Knicks’ Early Bird Rights offer. But the Knicks also will have cap space. So they can essentially match/exceed any offers to Bullock.

WHO IS INTERESTED?

The Knicks probably have several different contingency plans for free agency. One of them includes New York maintaining enough cap space to sign a max free agent in 2022.

If they go this route, it would prohibit them from signing their own free agents to multiyear deals.

Bullock will probably attract multiyear offers from other suitors. The Phoenix Suns are among the teams who have Bullock on their radar entering free agency, per SNY sources.

The New York Post reported that the Philadelphia Sixers and Boston Celtics also have interest in Bullock.

HOW CAN HE HELP KNICKS?

The Knicks also have significant interest in bringing Bullock back.

Tom Thibodeau called Bullock New York’s "unsung hero" throughout the 2020-21 season. It was an apt description.

Bullock hit 41 percent of his three-point attempts and 52 percent of his two-point attempts this past season. The 30-year-old was one of only 16 players to make at least 150 threes while shooting at least 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Thibodeau and Bullock’s teammates routinely said he was one of the Knicks’ most important defenders. New York finished fourth overall in defensive efficiency and Bullock routinely guarded the opponent’s best scorer.

The numbers show that Bullock did his job well. According to Synergy Sports, he finished within the top 26 percent of all man-to-man defenders in the league last season.

According to ProFitX, Bullock outplayed his $4.8 million contact last season by 265 percent. ProFitX, which uses artificial intelligence to provide projections on player contracts, performance, development and potential, said Bullock played at a $16.5 million level in 2020-21. The company projects Bullock’s salary over the next two years to be in the range of $21.1 million in total.

Bullock originally signed a two-year $21 million deal with New York in 2019. That deal had to be reworked because of Bullock’s neck injury.

The Knicks agreed to sign Bullock on a two-year deal worth roughly $9 million. Bullock missed several months at the start of the 2019-20 season while rehabbing the neck injury.

Last year, he obviously showed the Knicks and the rest of the NBA that the neck injury is a non-issue.

WILL JULIUS RANDLE FACTOR IN?

Bullock paired well with Randle last season. Randle often found Bullock open on the perimeter when he was handling the ball. If the Knicks are going to commit long-term to Randle, it would make sense to surround him with players he’s comfortable with on the court.

Also worth noting: The Knicks established strong locker room chemistry last season. Bullock was an integral part of that process. So the Knicks would lose some of that chemistry if Bullock signed with another team.

New York has the ability to outbid all of Bullock’s suitors in free agency. It will be interesting to see how many years – and how much money – they are comfortable offering him.